Deep in the soul of summer travel times with family and friends lurks the shadows of summer vacation memories. A rise in temperatures signaled the rise in my travel anticipation, even if our holiday road only lead to a local pool, creek, or lake.
“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
~ George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
For those times when the holiday road lead to East Tennessee or anywhere in the great state of Texas the party was on! Summer, family reunions, cousins, and swimming pools go naturally together. Lampasas, Texas set the scene for our annual summer family reunion. While the parents, grandparents, aunt, and uncles told tall tales, prepared epic picnic fare, and played 42, my cousins and I clocked hours in the Hancock Springs Pool. I’m not sure, but I believe my love and fascination with swimming pools began there and then. Everything is bigger in Texas, especially the memories!
Gatlinburg, Tennessee and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will forever be considered my home away from home. Every summer of my childhood my parents, brother, and I made our annual trek to East Tennessee. It’s a travel tradition that has carried through to my family. Memories from the past blend in with new memories we are making. I like a little past served with the present, and summer vacations tend to deliver on that front. Remember these?
A picnic in the Smokies is a must do for our gang of merry travelers. As much as convenience tempts me, Solo cups need not apply. I pack a mean vintage picnic basket complete with aluminum tumblers circa 19ihavenoidea. Ever the colorista, these darlings make a summer tablescape pop with their blast from the past retro fashion colors.
Dave the Builder and I were both raised in the era of larger than life hotel and motel swimming pools. How many of you were too? Big haul road trips came with the extra added bonus of at least one overnight stay in a hotel or motel. The mid trip overnighter existed in order to break the “are we there yet?” monotony. This is where things had the power to get summer splash zone interesting. The first indication of how good or how bad things were to come was based on the size, style, and neon quotient of the hotel or motel sign. Didn’t your heart drop at first glimpse of a beloved Holiday Inn sign? The parents may have measured the quality of the overnight accommodations by the luxury offerings, but the kids knew what really mattered- the swimming pool. In order for a property to receive the kid approved five star rating there better be a whole lotta pool time on the schedule.
I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. We’ve clocked many sun screened soaked hours at many a swimming pool with our son. Whenever I see the swimming pool in the image above my mind and heart immediately take me back to a late July afternoon twelve years ago when our son learned to swim. It’s those kind of summer vacation memories that become the priceless souvenirs of a lifetime. Where will you be making summer vacation memories this year?